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Bands to Watch: The Warlocks

By: Tim KenneallyThe Warlocks trip the psych fantastic

With a lineup that can swell to eight members and songs that meander past the ten-minute mark, the Warlocks could beaccused of excess. But to hear them tell it, they have a humble goal. “We want to make music that people want to fuck to,” saysguitarist JC Rees. “Fuck long and well to,” clarifies fellow guitarist Corey Lee Granet.

At the very least, Phoenix, the Los Angeles band’s second full-length album, seems calculated to screw with people’s minds. The group’sthree-guitar, two-drummer armada unloads a drone-heavy, densely textured din. Combined with singer/guitarist Bobby Hecksher’s world-wearyvocals, the result is a darkly psychedelic vibe that conjures the Velvet Underground and Spacemen 3 (whose ex-guitarist, Sonic Boom,contributes feedback).

Because of this–and the fact that the group’s live show is an orgy of strobe lights, oil projections, and other trippyflourishes–the Warlocks are seen as substance-abuse torchbearers. “You’d think that when you’re rolling through town, people wouldoffer you drugs,” Rees says with a sigh. “But when we come through, people ask us, ‘What do you have?'”

Pictured above: Danny Hole, Jason Anchondo, JC Rees, Bobby Hecksher,Jeff Levitz, and Corey Lee Granet